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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Ellington at Newport

Duke Ellington

1956

Ellington at Newport
Album Summary

Ellington at Newport is a 1956 live jazz album by Duke Ellington and his band of their 1956 concert at the Newport Jazz Festival, a concert which revitalized Ellington's flagging career. Jazz promoter George Wein describes the 1956 concert as "the greatest performance of [Ellington's] career... It stood for everything that jazz had been and could be." It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, which ranks it "one of the most famous... in jazz history" The original release was partly recreated in the studio after the Ellington Orchestra's festival appearance. Ellington released a follow-up album also recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport 1958, two years later. In 2022, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.46

Votes

10715
Genres
Jazz

Reviews

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Sun Sep 24 2023
5

Proof once again that live albums aren't great. If it wasn't for the sheer, unbelievable talent of the musicians, I'd have no interest in this whatsoever. I don't enjoy the audience noise. I don't enjoy the compere. I sure as toffee don't enjoy live albums generally. Sure, these musicians are insanely good. Would they be better in the studio, with a great producer? Absolutely yes.

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Mon Feb 13 2023
3

OMG this was long... I think I could've watched the whole movie Whiplash in this time (which I would've preferred)

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Fri Feb 17 2023
5

Exceptional. They certainly don't make music like this anymore. And I will overlook that some of the "live music" was recreated in the studio (including fake applause). Paul Gonsalves’ epic solo during Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue simply has to be heard to be believed.

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Tue Feb 21 2023
5

I mean, shit, I don't think I've ever heard a solo on the level of the solo in "Dimineuendo And Crescendo In Blue". The energy here is unmatched, and you can tell the crowd was feeling it. Insane performance. Favorite tracks: "Dimineuendo And Crescendo In Blue", "Festival Junction"

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Fri Dec 29 2023
3

The music was great, but I could do without all the emcee banter.

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Mon Feb 20 2023
5

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Pinnacle of jazz right here. Introduce your friends who don't know/like jazz to this album, and they'll be hooked. Favorite track: Festival Junction

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Wed Mar 01 2023
5

By the time of the Duke's Newport appearance in 1956, big bands were in the process of being, or already were, passé. The pre-World War II relic of jazz sophistication gave way to shorter groups, with trios and quartets, quintets and maybe even sextets becoming de rigueur and Duke had next to no room to occupy space. Newport '56 was a reminder of who he was, why he commanded the respect justly given to him and how he remained integral to the status that jazz had obtained in the decades past and present. If he and his band were percieved as though they were on the downward slope, they don't sound like it, as they are as vibrant and radiant as they were in their heyday, with Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue, Take the "A" Train and Skin Deep riding the ship on towards land and into cheering arms. A magnificent document of a triumphant comeback, may we love him madly.

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Wed Mar 01 2023
5

So much incredible music on this more than 2 hours long collection. This band absolutely cooks. 5 stars

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

Man, this joint is jumpin'! It's a wonderful mix of hot, frenetic, swing and cool, sexy, blues. And just to make it all sink in just a little deeper, make sure to listen to the full live version of the album.

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Sun Mar 12 2023
5

Hard to rate the Duke anything less than 5 stars. Obviously a bit disappointing to learn there is a mixture of studio recording here but hey it's still fucking amazing.

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Tue Apr 11 2023
5

Probablemebt un des meilleir album jazz que j'ai ecoute depuis un mechant bout 5

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Tue Apr 11 2023
5

Getting all the good ones now 😩

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Tue Apr 11 2023
5

Loved all two hours of this. Great live jazz album with awesome bits of chat in between.

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Fri Apr 14 2023
5

Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue is worth the price of admission alone. An incredible recording, jazz which is life-giving, vital and infectious. A truly extraordinary piece of work from the maestro. Music would sound very different without him.

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Tue Apr 18 2023
5

Phenomenal orchestration. As always, Duke Ellington and company show themselves to be the best at what they do. The improvisations are simply amazing and the prepared portions are played with such subtlety and precision. These are people who are so locked into each other, that their music functions as a breathing organism and responds to changes and cues as a whole. The crowd is absolutely frenetic, a testament to the power of this live performance.

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Tue Apr 18 2023
5

Wonderful! I love jazz so much and this is a really good example.

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Sun Apr 23 2023
5

I hope that over time the music lovers of the world will realize that Duke Ellington belongs in the same conversation as Bach and a small handful of other generationally or century-level composers (setting aside his ridiculous talents as an arranger, leader, conductor, and performer, each of which is worthy of lengthy exploration and adulation). This album is absolutely phenomenal and on its own would be worthy of this and any list of greats. Put in the greater context of Duke Ellington's lifetime of work and we're up on another plane of existence, creativity, and expression. The influence of his music and work goes much further, broader, and deeper than we can really know. Even when we're enjoying a contemporary pop song, or a celebrated punk tune, or a Broadway number, or hip-hop groove, or almost anything in the past near-century or so, much of it can be traced back to Duke Ellington. Epic. Legendary. Duke.

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Mon Apr 24 2023
5

This album is a great reminder that jazz was a living, breathing genre of music. It was born in an age when live music was king, long before a musical album was a concept. It’s music for improvising, music for dancing, and music for living in the moment. This is also one of those albums where the context greatly enhances the music: the fact that this revitalized his flagging career, and the amazing marathon saxophone solo

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Wed May 03 2023
5

Jazz is a genre that works for me best as background music. This is really great and seminal jazz though. Definitely belongs in the book.

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Wed May 10 2023
5

Now this is the kind of royalty I can get behind. This swings man. Dig it.

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Fri May 12 2023
5

The year Jazz clicked for me. Great album.

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Wed May 17 2023
5

Paul Gonsalvez single-handedly revitalized Ellington’a career. No I will not elaborate. Standout Songs: “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue”

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Wed May 17 2023
5

Wow. I’ve listened to this several times. Despite my previous review, and maybe my lack of culture, a lot of the jazz sounded quite similar, but even this you could feel the technical skill that went into it. It’s a live album and the crowd love it. My favourite is Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue. The saxophonist plays a 27 chorus solo and the vibe through your makes your hair stand on end. I’ve always appreciated jazz but would never consider myself wise or knowledgeable. I couldn’t name any jazz tracks to even recommend someone however this album is a fantastic introduction and I’m glad I have heard it

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Mon May 22 2023
5

Love this Album for years and years already

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Mon May 22 2023
5

Well... The Star Spangled Banner .......Really! Take the A Train, a classic, Mood Indigo,,,wow,,, Great album at a time when he was a great. Sir Duke at his best. Love this.

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Thu May 25 2023
5

When I saw this album come up I was horrified that I would have to listen to such a long jazz album, I predicted it would be a 2-hour chore. However, the music was sublime and the talent was outstanding. The pseudo-live editing helped to make it all come together and give some sense of the pandemonium (I pretended not to know how much of it had been put together in a studio)! The whole time I was listening I was imagining old Tom & Jerry cartoons for some reason - guess the music is similar to the old soundtracks they used back then? I would definitely listen to this again and I was amazed how much I was moved by something recorded in the 1950s, the era of "bad" music.

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Sat Jun 17 2023
5

Jag är ju inte så förtjust i storbandsjazz, men det här är ju strålande.

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Sun Jun 25 2023
5

My first real jazz album (I had Jazz Samba before this, but bossa nova is really kind of its own thing), and it’s from Sir Duke himself. I was contemplating just listening to the original, but I had a long plane ride today and decided ‘screw it I’ll just listen to the whole thing’. Probably a good idea, since because of stormy weather it left all the way at ‘Tulip or Turnip’. Anyway, how do I describe this album? I’ll just say this: it’s very warm and nice, sounds like something good to drink coffee to or whatever. That sounds like a 3 or a 4, but I actually really loved this album. ‘Diminuendo in Blue’ especially, for that legendary sax solo that made Paul Gonsalves literally faint. A must hear for any jazz fan.

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Mon Jun 26 2023
5

Outstanding jazz just the way I like it!

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Mon Jun 26 2023
5

How can you not love this? Joyful. Just fabulous big band and swing music. The sax on I got it bad is just delicious. Also it's not a 2 hour live album, the version I listened to was very obviously the full concert first, then the same songs as a studio rerecording afterwards. Which were then smooshed together for the original release. I may save the studio ones for later.

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Wed Jun 28 2023
5

So glad this is on the list! One of the most epic concerts ever and would be one of my first stops if I had a Time Machine. The solo to diminuendo and crescendo in blue is iconic and one of the best blues solos of all time!

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Wed Jun 28 2023
5

Loved this, keeps getting better like a great concert always does. So many great soloists. Clarinet is so great it’s weird that you don’t hear it in more modern jazz Diminuendo is cool love the long sax soloon the blues and how Ellington segues to the next section during his solo. Bari sax is so good on sophisticated lady Crazy how the crowd gets rowdier as the show goes on. Skin deep is so sick! people flip out for drum solos (I wasn’t expecting the double bass).

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Tue Jul 04 2023
5

An album like this just makes me want to be there which is exactly the point.

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Wed Jul 05 2023
5

10/10 Ellington always delivers while maybe not as apparently talented as John Coltrane, he still brings a lot to jazz that needs to be acknowledged and appreciated

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Wed Jul 12 2023
5

The Duke all day, and this was a great recording.

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Sat Jul 15 2023
5

Un régal pour les sens - oui, pas juste les oreilles! Mon corps entier répond. Un vrai bijou

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Thu Jul 20 2023
5

(mostly) live and swanky old school jazz for cool cats that will put a smile on your face. 4.5/5

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Sat Jul 29 2023
5

‘Ellington At Newport’ is an incredible album and I don’t even care that parts of it were re-recorded in the studio after the live event complete with crowd noise added in. While the expanded and updated version is also good, go for the original release as it’s concise and distils the best parts of the concert over two sides. ‘Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue’ is obviously the centrepiece and major highlight of the album, but really the whole record is excellent, and everyone should hear it.

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Sun Aug 13 2023
5

I love the performances on display here, and was blown away by some of the diversity of sound.

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Sun Aug 13 2023
5

NOW WE'RE COOKING WITH GAS BABYYYYY

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Mon Aug 14 2023
5

This album is cool, fun, and has the best solos.

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Fri Aug 18 2023
5

The background comments on Dimenuendo are classic as Paul Gonzolas is egged on to continue his solo until he collapses. This album is overflowing with excellent solos. You can really feel the crowd’s energy even on the studio recordings -lol. I didn’t know jazz audiences (or any audience in the 50s) got so unruly.

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Wed Aug 23 2023
5

I can see why this album is such a classic. Will have to look into getting a vinyl of this soon. I can see why this kicked back up Ellington's career--electrifying, can practically feel the music tickling you through your headphones!

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Mon Aug 28 2023
5

Sensational performance. I love that big band sound. The band plays to entertain and the crowd is loving it! I think this is my first time listening to Duke Ellington. He’s a great piano player. He loves to riff on the melody with these drunken-sounding off key notes. Very fun, really entertaining. That wailing at the end of “Festival Junction”!! Wow, that’s wild! Excellent. Really enjoyed this.

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Mon Aug 28 2023
5

I feel like this album deserves an honorary 5. Duke Ellington is one of the great Jazz legends and to have his live sessions recorded and cemented in history is a treasure. With that said, though, this album is too long haha and I do not see my self listening to this on repeat

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Mon Aug 28 2023
5

Long, but I never felt it. Just incredible all the way through. Not once does it get repetitive or boring

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Fri Sep 15 2023
5

I want to get wasted and listen to this with jazz people. 9/10

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

Man it would’ve been fun to be alive during the golden age of jazz and to see these guys. The culture wrapped up in it is so rich and interesting. Oh the songs are cool too

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Mon Sep 25 2023
5

Hilarious that a Jazz show in Rhode Island resulted in a riot, but the show was an absolute banger. I really loved the start where some guy from Providence RI was shitting on the rest of the country, because he's provincial and likes his Boston folk. Either way great show, and the closer was a ton of fun. I already mentioned the riot, but I think it bears mentioning again - there was no call for an encore, no dopey shuffling around while the lights came on, just pure boos and chaos when the set ended and the house tried to get everyone to leave. Amazing - the crowd at a death grips concert didn't even have the balls to riot when the show ended, so it shows how nuts it was.

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Tue Sep 26 2023
5

Terrific! I listened to the whole 2 hour deluxe album and it was fantastic!

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Fri Sep 29 2023
5

Glorious and groovy. 5 stars.

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Mon Oct 02 2023
5

Fantastic big band swing. You can feel the energy and excitement in the room. And I'm a sucker for a good shout chorus!

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Fri Oct 06 2023
5

Classic Duke is 5 stars 5 out of 5 times 5-ever.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Full of life. Guaranteed to make a jazz fan of you.

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Mon Oct 16 2023
5

Fun fact: my most high profile exposure to Duke Ellington thus far has been playing Caravan in a high school jazz ensemble. I was on bass. Album #7. Jazz, like metal, is another genre that I’m not very familiar with, though taking music for four years has given me more of an exposure to the former. I’m willing to admit that when I saw this album, I didn’t exactly have high hopes, as while I have cataloged memorable jazz songs, no one album has particularly stood out to me. This, umm….this changed that. From the first breath of the musicians, this recording took mine away. This is life-affirming music, music that could be serving in the background but rewards immensely if paid attention to. This is music to be played loud so you can mosh, sway, and groove to it alone at home or (I wish) with your closest friends. This is music that makes a mockery of any album that uses a brass instrument and calls itself jazz. This is music that humiliates “big band” music that’s really just loud music. Life-changing solos, impeccable swings, and trance-inducing melodies are contained within. After hearing the LP version, I was actually tempted to start again with the hours-spanning complete edition. I’ve been converted. Gonna put it on right now perhaps. Long live the Duke and his horde of life-givers. I really don’t care that it’s not live.

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Tue Oct 17 2023
5

amazing jazz. and to think this was LIVE wtf man

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Sat Oct 28 2023
5

That walking bassline throughout is fantastic. And "Take the A Train" is a classic.

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Tue Oct 31 2023
5

I’m lucky enough to have an American copy of the original vinyl, which features only 5 tracks over 44 odd minutes, so that’s what I’m talking about here, not the remastered 1999 cd set, which added an extra dozen tracks, mainly consisting of a selection of Duke’s greatest hits. The original album is startling. It was only when I read the wiki entry that I discovered that only 40% of that recording was live - the album had been fabricated by a studio recording made after Newport, because Ellington thought the festival recordings were not quite up to release standard. When you’r listening to it, that makes very little difference. The quality of the orchestra is second to none. The fact is that by 1956, big band swing music was pretty much buried, particularly after the birth of rock’n’roll. But Ellington had kept the faith, even to the point of subsidising the band out of his own pocket to keep it on the road. He did not even have a recording contract when he went to Newport, but he certainly did straight after this performance. The record ends with the magnificent Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue, featuring an amazing solo by tenor-sax man Paul Gonsalves. The record swings from go to whoa.one of the great live albums.

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Tue Oct 31 2023
5

The greatest of the jazz big bands? Perhaps. The greatest jazz composer? Probably. An absolute watershed in jazz from that most elegant elegance, Ellington. If this doesn’t move you, you don’t like jazz. A top 5 must own album if you’re into jazz - kind of blue, a love supreme, this, Louis Armstrong hot six, and goodman at Carnegie hall. That will do for now. That list will change. But the duke will remain on it. Timeless. Iconic. Gorgeous. 17 stars.

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Thu Nov 02 2023
5

Met veel plezier naar geluisterd. Soms wel erg scherp, maar meestal wel lekker.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

Pretty good slap fest - would recommend if you want to listen to some Jazz on a sunday.

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Sat Nov 11 2023
5

Grandma E’s favorite musician. This album is special bc it’s wild and live.

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Mon Nov 13 2023
5

Fantastic. Ellington is an all-time great.

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

Man, when the band really gets cooking, like in Diminuendo in Blue, they are absolutely on fire. If you don't enjoy that performance then you probably just don't like music.

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Fri Nov 17 2023
5

A musical, historical experience

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Mon Nov 20 2023
5

The sounds they got out of the trumpet. It sounds like a human voice at times. I may have had trouble listening to the full 2 hour plus recording. But the original record is fantastic.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
5

I only feel sorry for those who stop here; Duke's the foundation for plenty of equal jazz to come. The conceit is terribly obvious now, but the band cooks regardless. Useful counterpoint to the Ibrahim from the other day: Piano stays buried but the band sound doesn't suffer.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
5

Not a huge fan of big band jazz, but still a great album. There is some swing on here too, which is great.

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Tue Nov 28 2023
5

Enjoyed. Wish it didn't have the monologues, but still want to get something from him now.

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Wed Nov 29 2023
5

I have a hard time imagining a better album to put on if you're itching for a couple hours of jazz. Just throw this on and you're sorted for the night. Incredible work here by Duke Ellington and company. I'm not usually into the live album experience, but I don't think there was a single time during this album that I can say I was distracted by it or that anything was taken away due to it's live nature. In many cases it was just the opposite. It's easy to say this album feels like an event, but I think it's entirely accurate. Highlight: I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) Surprise Hit: Diminuendo In Blue

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

dude what a good album. love jazz 10/10 fav tracks: Tea for Two, Skin Deep, Blues to Be There

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Tue Dec 05 2023
5

Loved it. Not a Jaz fan but this was great

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Tue Dec 05 2023
5

this is an absolute treat. I was initially concerned at the run time but it is so worth it, it's such a rewarding listen when you get to 'Diminuendo in Blue' and you hear the crowd shift into excitement, then frenzy. The remainder of the record after the sax interlude is pure gold, with the audience willing the band on, and muffling out the organisers calls for the end of the performance. So happy to have been able to listen to this

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